GW Goes Free Rules – Bravo

It’s been along time coming, but both of GW’s core game systems have free rules- joining the growing industry trend.

Hello Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition free core rules. GW said they would provide free rules and they did it. They are not alone…

Here’s the free core rules for the following games:

I’m sure I missed some, but you get the point.

It’s a great time to be in tabletop gaming and all the big companies are moving into the “give away the rules and charge for the minis” style.

With Privateer just announcing the end of physical books except for new factions, and moving more to digital, it feels like a new era is dawning. We have come a very long way in a short amount of time. It wasn’t that many years ago that 40K and Warhammer Fantasy had ultra thick pricy rulebooks like these:

I’n happy to see the complexity go, and free rules are the way of the future. Still, the traditionalist in me still loves physical copies of games and I hope that they will always be available.

~What is your take on GW finally jumping into the Free Rules part of the industry? What do you think the future of game rules will look like?

  • Jennifer Burdoo

    Not free enough for my taste. Why should AOS get free unit rules but 40K doesn’t?

    • Asrai86

      I’d imagine because the factions were fundamentally changing in AoS, while they’re staying pretty much the same in 40k. I was hoping for indexes as well, but I’m happy to borrow them from my bros in the meantime.

      • Kami

        or from the russians

        • ZeeLobby

          Russians have the best free rules!

          • orionburn


        • wong40k

          Brutal AF there bro. But chapter approved.

    • rtheom

      Supposedly unit rules will all come in the box when you buy the unit. As long as they do that, that’s a pretty acceptable compromise. Does suck for people that have already bought a bunch of stuff, but it’s not like they make any money from already completed armies.

      Biggest thing I like about the AoS setup though is it lets me print out just the sheets for the units I’m going to use in a battle, cutting down even more on the junk I gotta bring with me to a game.

      • Karru

        That is actually one of the great things about the way AoS handles things. Like I don’t mind that they aren’t free but it would be absolutely amazing if GW released a version that wasn’t a god damn ebook. A PDF file would be absolutely amazing, so one can just pick the pages he needs for the unit entries and points and boom, no longer does one need to surf the book back and forth.

        • Mike Holmberg

          if you have an ebook its pretty easy to convert that to a pdf. In fact there are a bunch of free conversion websites on the net.

        • Deacon Ix

          The one thing I am not looking forward to in my first game is the looking up of all the units new rules. (I will probably use Battle Scribe or create my own reference sheet TBH)

      • Xodis

        They might not make money off of those, but they still need to keep them playing so the new guys have a reason to buy in.

    • Randy Randalman

      Ffs… The unit rules will be free in the kits and on the upcoming app. Also, 40k has more units than the next ten games combined, so it takes a lot more to organize, produce and publish. They also have far greater expenses and actually employ more than five people. They don’t owe you any more than you’re getting.

      • NNextremNN

        “The unit rules will be free in the kits and on the upcoming app.”

        This remains to be seen and I’m not going to buy any kit again just to get the unit rules.

        Those “free” rules are a joke they could just have released nothing and not give people any false hopes at all.

        • Devourer

          The “Battle Primer” says “But where do you find datasheets? Well, when you buy a box of Citadel Miniatures they’ll be in the box with them, and they are also present in codexes.”

          • NNextremNN

            But there are no Codices and I’m pretty sure that If I go to my store buy a box there won’t be any 8th datasheets inside. This will be true in the future but not now.

            The game is more than just some rules which tell me how to move an shoot. I still have to buy the actual rulebook and I If I buy an Index now I have to buy the real codex in a few weeks/months too. So it’s not cheap either.

            They could have released nothing for free or anything (except fluff and pictures) for free. And I would have been fine with both. But this in-between is just a joke.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. Yeah. It’s definitely like a teaser of what free rules could be like.

          • orionburn

            It’s like that insurance commercial where that old guy dangling the dollar from the fishing pole. “Oh, you almost had it!”

    • Goredja

      I agree, and i send a email to GWS, with no many hopes, to ask if they at least, can give us the fortifications datasheet free, because in my case for exemple, i’ve to buy xenos 1 and 2 cause i play tau and necron, so i’m unlucky ok, no problem, but i buy the core rules for mission and fortifications, and WTF ! Fortification are on Imperial book 2 , i can understand the relationship, but it’s unfair for unalligned building. I hope they quote my message …

      • orionburn

        And to add salt to the wound they didn’t even include everything. The relay pipes and reactors are missing. They acknowledged my question on their Facebook page but didn’t offer up an explanation as to why they were missing from the books. So not only did I buy the Planetary Onslaught book that is now useless I’ve bought a pile of books that still don’t include everything.

      • Deacon Ix

        I have a CSM/Daemon Army, Blood Angels, Guard, Eldar and Genestealer Armies, one from each book…
        Plus I have a nice collection of FW stuff for each so that’s another 4…


        The number of books I now take to a game running a similar force is 4… not much of an improvement (BRB, CSM (WB) with PDF cannon fodder (Guard) and FW books).

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      That is the elephant in the ountment.

      Most (not all) of the listed games have free army lists too.

      • af

        SAGA is particularly great in this respect. And you can even make the dice yourself, making the full cost even cheaper.

    • Horus84cmd

      I would hazard that it was because AOS was complete shift in gears from WFB and GW wanted to encourage engagement. With 40K I would say that is not so much the case.

      As an aside. I don’t understand why people expect so much to be free – its a ridiculous notion.

      • ZeeLobby

        Ugh. Again. Cause they play games besides GWs where such things are common.

        • Horus84cmd

          My point is so many people what everything for nothing and that is just not how the world works – especially when something is the culmination of 100’s people work. To use a analogy it is like computer game console makers giving the console away free and gamers expecting the computer games to also be free.

          • ZeeLobby

            Poor analogy. This is tabletop wargamming. People are just comparing GW’s offerings to those of their competitors. It’d be like all other console makers releasing their consoles for free, while one company is releasing half their console for free. Clearly there are going to be comparisons there.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Its not about making everything free for a tabletop wargame eventual becomes a subversive push for Communism. It about keeping with industry standards and keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing. It was OTHER companies that offered a completely free ruleset (Infinity or Corvis Belle if I remember) then everyone started following suit. PP started the yearly faqs for every faction, releasing every force at the same time, using cards as a reference tool, providing competitive and narrative play rules for free.

            GW was way way way behind on this. And the fact that the “free rules” are the 8 page pamphlet without the advanced rules is still a HUGE issue. The industry standard is to actually have ALL the rules free. Basic rules, terrain, scenarios, etc.

            So is GW following the capitalistic push for Communism via tabletop wargaming. No. They are like a car sales man and every other lot is selling the same car. But they are offing free features with their car, while GW is not. Take in the price (160 bucks for a two player set) and the purchases from new customers is almost non existent.

            The move towards free content is a good move. Now they just need to work on the price point. It is not 1990 when GW is the only game in town.

            Charging twice as much as your competitors for single and two player starter sets is not a good way to bring new players. Look at their competitors, even the 28mm big army style games like the new Warpath ( or or pick up a 50 point army for Warmachine for less (

            And the quality gap between GW products and their competitors is now non-existent. And some games like Infinity, Malifaux, and CMoN Dark Age are actually exceeding industry and GW’s standards.

            GW still has some catching up to do.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh. I totally agree. Honestly they kind of shocked me (and many other players visiting the store on release day) that they still seem to be operating under their old systems in this day and age. They’ll eventually transition, but it would have been really cool to see at the beginning of 8th.

        • I believe the top 3 systems are Xwing, GW and WM/H. None of them have Free unit rules with the exception of AoS (which you hate). So why the expectation now? On top of that, $20-$25 isn’t really all that much money. A Taco Bell run for a family of 4 costs more than that.

          • ZeeLobby

            Well. Except FFG has repeatedly said that they don’t mind if people print or copy cards, they simply won’t be allowed in competitive events. All the cards and rules are available on several sites. As for WMH, they’ve repeatedly said that they’re adding all units for free to their online card database, and plan to have them in July. So they’re kind of not the same.

            And I don’t hate AoS. I just think it’s simplistic and the lore is boring. Hate is such a strong word (though it doesn’t surprise me that you use it so quickly). And I had to spend $110 to play the new edition. I’d hardly say that’s nothing. I don’t mind, but people do. For $40 more I could have an infinity force with multiple options.

          • Strong people use strong words. It what we do. As to WM/H, their company is WAY smaller than GW in terms of employees to take care of. Additionally, while their rules may be free their army books and expansions are not. The quality of their miniatures, while good, don’t measure up to GW’s in detail or quality, but the cost point is similar.

            I said this earlier in another response, but it bears repeating. Everyone complaining about the rules not being free simply want to play with their armies and not drop another dime for someone else’s work. Thats a ridiculous notion. New editions cost money one way or another.

            As to people praising all these companies for free rules, has anyone stopped to think that the only way to entice players to their rule sets is to hand them out for free. Not to say their all bad, I enjoy WM/H, but how many people would jump ship from 40k if the other rules weren’t free?

          • ZeeLobby

            LoL. Insecure people identify in absolutes.

            So now we’re moving goalposts? PP is small, so it’s different? Miniature quality is now a factor on rules cost? I guess once your initial argument fell flat it was time to head elsewhere.

            People are complaining about not having rules for free because GW’s other major game system has free rules, and GW themselves had been hinting at free rules. I don’t think it’s unexpected for people to get upset when a company they support doesn’t fulfill their expectations… I mean I understand there are those in the community who would have given them a free pass if each book cost $100, but those aren’t sane people.

            I mean many other companies did grow while not having free rules, so I think that’s pretty clear evidence of “yes” there. That said, I think GW could have enticed more players, and players to come back, with free rules. The problem with free rules is that whether a player stays with a system is then dependent on how good those rules are. There’s no upfront investment to determine whether the game is enjoyable, so the game has to be good. By forcing people to buy the rules to play the game, it entices people not to look elsewhere as they’ve already sunk cost into the product. So maybe what GW is really doing is protecting a poor ruleset?

      • Xodis

        Because free rules help support your fanbase.

        They will still sell models.
        They will still sell codicies.
        They will still make money.
        Giving away free rules (now that the game is worth playing again IMO) helps entice those players you already pushed away, and those who are hesitant to spend the money required to get into the game.

        • Horus84cmd

          I know, but It is the assumption for automatic right to free rules that’s the problem. Just because something is being done by others doesn’t make it a auto for others to follow.

          • Xodis

            I dont think its a “right” per say, but “New GW” as they branded themselves have set a precedent with AoS, and they should have acknowledged the rumors of free datasheets and squashed them early, but instead just kept repeating “launch will be like AoS” mantra that caused the assumptions and let down it did.

            That being said I still disagree with their decision, but agree that players do not have a “right” to free rules. Although we are talking about a “Model company, not a rules company” so take that as you will.

  • ZeeLobby

    Are the advanced rules included? If not it’s more like a half a free core rulebook.I hardly know anyone who won’t be running battleforged armies or playing without terrain. It’s an OK first step I guess.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      They are not. Terrain rules are in the basic rules, just not the rules for specific types of terrain. So the specific rules for forests slowing down your charges isn’t in the base rules, but you can still get a +1 for being in cover.

    • NNextremNN

      Yeah those “free” rules make no difference because they are far to incomplete. It’s not enough for a “real” game.

      • zeno666

        So its more of a free demo 😉

        • NNextremNN

          Even a demo would need datasheets.

    • Xodis

      I think it works great as a teaser set of rules. Just enough to entice those who enjoyed it to spend some money, and just enough to let those who dont enjoy it know they need a new game. Unfortunately we need unit rules to go with it.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. I dunno. This day and age I’d be happy with simply just having the rules. Unit/advanced/core. I mean they can always sell me campaign and expansion books later. Just felt like it would make sense to have the core rules free from day one (I don’t consider the “advanced” rules to really be advanced rules, they pretty much just took stuff out of the core rules and set it on the side).

        • Xodis

          I would be ok with that too, but I think having 2 tiers represents the 2 types of players they get, Casual and Competitive.

          Real casual players get the free base rules and units with power levels, simple missions for simple beer and pretzel games that are balanced enough to enjoy.

          The competitive crows get their advanced rules, points, and advanced missions with balance on the forefront (theoretically lol).

          Campaigns and expansions would work for both crowds IMO hopefully spiking the interest of the casuals to get them to dig a little deeper in the wallet.

          I think the above business model would draw a fine line between the casual and competitive crowds and keep the complaining to a minimum. Sure competitives would end up spending more, but you get more as a result.

          • ZeeLobby

            But I mean where are lines that clearly drawn though? I mean locally we have a mix of competitive and narrative players, and if we drew a line between them, we’d have very little groups to build around, haha. Luckily there’s an understanding of who your playing and what to play.

            I dunno. I guess I just don’t consider the “advanced” rules to really be all that advanced. I mean they’d easily be in the core rules of any other system, haha. I think it’s just a way to force people to pay more money if they want a full ruleset. I mean while Power Levels are cool, before their existence, I never knew a narrative player who complained about writing a list with points… Just weird to me, but maybe I’ve just never ran into these people.

          • Xodis

            Thats why I drew the lines between casual and competitive. As a narrative player Im still quite competitive.

            Casuals want an easy game to play with models they built, Competitive players just want more from their game than that.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right, I guess what I was trying to say is that it’s impossible to draw a line, at least locally. I just find it hard to believe there’s anywhere that you could easily draw one.

          • Xodis

            I dont know, I find it rather easy to draw a line on how much someone is willing to spend.

            Kids, new players, people angry at GW, ect….. would all be part of the casual player crowd since they either dont have the money or dont want to give more money to GW.

            Probably your entire local crowd falls into the competitive player group since the way you make it seem they are invested and willing to invest more.

          • ZeeLobby

            Thing is I know narrative players who pay way more than competitive players. I don’t think how much you’re willing to spend is a good divider for competitiveness. Honestly competitive players use free rules and unit rules as a justification for promoting other game systems to the competitive crew pretty often.

          • Xodis

            Yeah, but you are still dividing narrative and competitive players when Im saying they fall into the same “price group”. I think both casual and competitive players fall into the Narrative/Competitive combination.
            Maybe calling it Casual/Invested players would be better?

          • ZeeLobby

            Ah, I got you. Yeah. That makes sense. I just don’t know many pure narrative players who wouldn’t want the “advanced” terrain rules. I mean heck, some of the advanced stuff, like death from the skies, was really pretty narrative to begin with. It’s just a weird division of their core rules clearly meant to drive up sales to all players imo.

          • Xodis

            Me neither lol. Like I mentioned, Im primarily a narrative player, but I’m invested into the game so I want all the rules to enhance my narratives as much as I can.
            I totally agree that most of the expansions are primarily for narrative players, I think the campaigns fall into that category too as long as they dont come jam packed with just new rules for older models like before.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. True. I mean I’m excited either way, but this was definitely an area GW could have hit a home-run and instead sacrifice bunted. LoL. The thing is, now 2/3 months from now if they release everything for free, it’ll look like a total bait/switch so we’re now kind of stuck in this format.

          • Xodis

            Yeah, I think they should accept the bad press of a bait/switch and respond with the typical “you asked for it so we delivered” speech. Honestly, after the initial anger most people will understand and see it being better for the genre and game itself IMO.
            This was definitely a sacrificial bunt though lol.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean even though I’ve bought the two indexes I need. I still have small forces from the other books. I might pick those up, play them, and buy more, if I don’t have to buy the other 3 indexes. So hopefully they do.

          • Xodis

            Same here. Xenos 1 and Chaos cover all of my armies (I lucked out with Eldar/Necrons) but if I start a Deathwatch army, I dont want to have to buy BOTH Imperium books simply because I want to show up to save some guard or work with the Inquisition.

      • Richard Mitchell

        So what is the article saying they are following the industry standard? Doesn’t the author know that most of the companies above offer free complete rules, with scenarios, and narrative play? The whole basic (free) and advanced (not free) sounds a little like a scam to me.

        For the first time in 10 years I was actually excited about picking up the starter set and running with it. But if I got to pay for an incomplete game or incomplete ruleset on top of the high price for the two player boxed set. Ya all my enthusiasm is officially dead.

        • Xodis

          It sounds just right to me. Just like in video games, you have enough of the free game to know if you want to dive in (with your wallet) or not, or just enjoy goofing off a little bit with no investment. Sure other games might give the entire ruleset free, but I think thats abnormal for larger companies that have dedicated teams working on these rules.

          Im not sure why you think its an incomplete rule set you are paying for since the starter set comes with the complete hardback book, but if you mean no unit rules its really not different than the codices we have been purchasing since the beginning of what…2nd edition? Dont get me wrong, I think it would be better if you DID get the unit rules for free (what good are the rules without actually purchasing the models right?!?!) but the starter set is far from incomplete since you even get the 8e rules for those models so no Index is required. Future models are supposed to have the rules added to the box….but thats kind of a slap in the face to the dedicated players who have had models for years.

  • Mathew G. Smith

    It’s enough to use freeplay with no objecives, deployment zones, or terrain. Assuming you got the datasheets somewhete else.

  • BloodAngel


  • UnpluggedBeta

    Seeing that Warhammer book triggered me over what we have lost.

    • ZeeLobby

      Right?! What a knife twist.

  • Free rules can be found here, btw:

    Terribly placed.

    • BloodAngel


  • Crablezworth

    “happy to see the complexity go” I bet you are sport

    • ZeeLobby

      Somewhere I imagine there’s just a basement full of zombies, branded by GW, and sat in front of computers. Lol.

  • SplinterMD

    Add Wrath of Kings and Dark Age to the list, every single unit card or rule is free!

    • euansmith

      Also, Malefaux 2nd Ed is free in a “rules only format”.

      • Richard Mitchell

        Ya except the article is a little deceptive. GW is not offering the complete ruleset for free are they? With DA and WoK, Malifaux, and Warmachine, I am getting the complete rules to play. Basically whatever this new terminology is of basic and advanced rules.

        With other systems you get the basic and “advanced?!?!” rules for free. Not counting additional scenarios and narrative play for free download.

        This whole language game where GW says “free rules” and everyone says ya free rules! but only the “basic” is deceptive. This isn’t the 80’s and we are not playing DnD.

        • EnTyme

          GW never said “free rules”. The said “free Core Rules” and everyone made assumptions.

        • euansmith

          Speak for your self, my Renegade Space Marines are Chaotic Good ;D

          I’m all for free rules; or, at least, all the rules in a single volume. KoW gives me the rules, setting and army lists in a single, easy to hold volume. Even Rogue Trader gave us everything in one book; though it was large, and the pages tended to fall out.

  • Stealthbadger

    Having now seen how thick the indexes are compared to codexes I really don’t have a problem with with a £12 price point. I mean that’s three pints, two lunches from a coffee shop, one cinema ticket etc. And the books will provide more value than any of those.

    • Karru

      The problem is two-fold for people. First of all, someone like me has to buy 4 of those if I want to play my armies. I have Eldar, SM, Orks and Imperial Guard, now look at how they split the books.

      Next thing is that the books lack basically all flavour and will most likely be replaced in the following year. I know I won’t be buying any of the indexes because I have the leaks still that work just fine.

      The books provide value if you collect more than one of the armies contained within one book or just one army AND don’t have the leaks or other non-purchased way of getting the book. Those books are extremely barebones, especially if you compare it to AoS. In AoS, only book I need to play is the GHB if I play any of the “old” armies. In 40k I need the Core Rulebook and 4 indexes if I want to play. That’s why I’m sticking with the leaks for now. I have no interest in starting a Nurgle Army at this time nor do I have interest in Guilmarines, so I have no need for the starter box. The Rulebook I’ll be getting at some point, but not the indexes.

      • Stealthbadger

        You have the same issue I did, I bought them all except the chaos one. It cost £48, the price of a good meal for two. My perception of value is that the price point is not unreasonable. I accept this is not universal though so am not trying to say I’m ‘right’, just offering an opinion on my perceived value compared to other costs in my life.

        If they get replaced in a year then so be it. My meal lasted 90 minutes.

        As for the flavour thing I think this must depend on your army. After reading my indexes I feel that Guard lost nothing, orks lost nothing, necrons lost nothing, (in fact if the codexes introduce regiments etc. They will gain long term) marines lost chapter tactics but there’s a strong inference they’ll be back and no doubt it will be a straight forward rule to remember such as rerolls at a certain time. All chapters kept their unique units and almost all armies seem to have got better points, rules, balance. I no longer feel guilty playing necrons. Heck, even a knight seems pretty costly now so and you have to think what ales you could bring for 500 points.

        Ultimately though how you spend your money is your decison. I don’t sneer at those who buy Rolex watches because I don’t see how the tell the time any better than my standard watch. i just think how many thunderhawks I could buy for that 🙂

        • Heinz Fiction

          You have a very expensive taste of food…

      • AircoolUK

        I went ahead and bought all 5, even though I only really needed 3. I figured that having the rules for every unit in the game was worth the cost. Sure, the books are pretty dry, but they’re not replacements for a Codex.

        At the moment, I’m browsing for an android tablet as in the near future, GW apps will get updated automatically with errata and FAQ’s.

        I just wish they’d make standard Windows PC versions of their apps.

        • Peter Bernier

          The digitial editions haven’t been updated with the FAQs. I wish they would do things that way as well, but clearly they aren’t.

      • EnTyme

        In other words, you have to buy the same number of books as you did in previous editions, but at a lower price point, and that’s a bad thing?

        • Karru

          So I need explain this one more time do I?

          Okay, in earlier editions when a new edition popped up, my books didn’t stop working. I could still use my Eldar book or my Ork book UNTIL they released new ones. Only then did I need to update.

          Now, if I want to play any of my armies, I have to buy at least 1 book, if I want to play ALL my armies, I need to buy 4. Before, I had to buy 0 books on launch. Why? Because GW usually doesn’t release new Codices on launch. They release new one maybe a month or two later. Even then, the chances are quite low that one of my armies is getting that update at that point.

          Another thing to note. These are nothing more than stopgaps. That means that the chances are that in less than 6 months, I might have to buy new books anyway. I have the leaks so why spent money on these? While they are nice deals, if you are amongst those that could get them for free, like I did through the leaks, I see little reason to buy them. They are going to be replaced by real codices soon if we get lucky. Codices that contain the flavour for the armies, something that Indexes lack.

  • mhtsaropinigitakis

    were are the indexes??

    • Complete rules for each army but it’s mostly JUST rules. The armies were split into 5 separate indexes (Imperial 1&2, Chaos, and Xenos 1&2.) Each cost $20 and because the (basic) rules themselves are free and the indexes aren’t, people are throwing a fit about having to spend money to play a new edition of a game

      • NNextremNN

        People are throwing a fit because those promised free “basic” rules are useless on their own. They just could have released nothing for free and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

        • $20 – $25 is hardly expensive.

          • NNextremNN

            +$60 for the rulebook +$30-$40 when the codices finally come + a chapter approved each year is hardly cheap and definitely not free.

          • But that’s part of any new edition that GW puts out. 7th was $75 for the rule book, $40 fort the codexes (plus sub factions if you wanted them), $35+ for various expansions, etc. Not to mention, GW, unlike the other companies people are comparing them to, is huge. They have to pay for all the employees , studio, stores, etc somehow. PP and others like them are WAY smaller.

            Point is, you have free CORE RULES which is what they promised. All these people raging on this site WANT the whole system to be free so they can simply play with what they have without investing anymore in someone else’s work. Pretty much something for nothing and that something a team of people spent long hours on. I mean if that is your believe (that work should go unpaid) I have a ton of yard work and home maintenance that needs doing that I would happily pay you nothing for, but I expect that work to be high quality.

          • NNextremNN

            The point is those free rules are useless I would have preferred if they would have promised nothing free. That at least would have been honest. I have bought the starter box nevertheless. I will buy real codices when they are out because of fluff, painting guides and fancy pictures.

            And a little proof reading would have done those books good. A commissar with a Powersword which does 0 damage? A Dunecrawler with a damage profile of 7-11+ and 3-5? What happens at 6? A Tiger Shark AX-1-0 that has to move at least 20″ but can’t fire it’s Macro cannon when it has moved because it is not titanic? Is that the “high quality” you are speaking of? Do you want to print out dozen of faq pages to carry around with you. Or pay money again when those things are hopefully fixed in the real codices? They can charge as much money as they want for whatever they want but I don’t like to by lied to and I don’t like to buy unfinished stuff.

      • mhtsaropinigitakis

        probably i dint type is correct… were are the FREE indexes? 🙂

        • They never said there were any

          • mhtsaropinigitakis

            then they should not have said free rules…but free half rules ^^

  • Heinz Fiction

    The list above is misleading:

    Infinity: 100% of the rules are free.
    Kings of War: 90% of the rules are free (enough to play a test game)
    WH40k: 5% of the rules are free (not possible to play a test game without datasheets)

    In my opinion that “free rules” thing was more of a marketing fraud than anything else.

    • Crevab

      Don’t forget the “Only 8 pages of rules!” getting thrown about. I bet if other games also organized their rulebooks into “Demo game” and “Everything else you need to play”, then they could claim a dozen or so pages.

      • ZeeLobby

        I mean Infinity’s starters come with a great intro to the game pamphlet. That said the core rules are also 100% free. Honestly I’d have to say Infinity does the best job.

    • davepak

      Well this “marketing fraud” worked.

      A lot of people I know who dropped out of the game wanted to read the free core rules – and after they did, have decided to come back in.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Hmm disappointing to hear about PP going bookless. They never needed them to begin with but it is where they put most of the lore. It also helped them lump their releases like FW does and make campaign books, but I digress.

  • Nosebleed

    New era dawning?

    If you are referring to GW in particular, then yes.

    Free core rules has long been the industry trend years back. GW was slow to pick this up and I’m glad they finally did.

  • Xodis

    Free rules are nice, but not having any free unit rules to go with them seems a little asinine. They did AoS the right way, not sure about the step back with 40K, and the “making money” excuse isn’t going to work because we all know there are plenty of people who prefer the physical copies regardless of paying for them.

    Im hoping the unit rules get released as free PDFs once the actual codices are released.

    • davepak

      I agree. For me, one of the things that is encouraging me to get into AOS is that I can read the unit rules.

      40k needs this to be complete.

  • Richard Mitchell

    About time, lowers the bar of entry for some new players. It might be worth paying 160 bucks for a starter set if you are not required to buy a rulebook. now they just need to follow the industry standard of two player sets pricing for about 80 bucks and we might have a winner here.

  • Rob brown

    Rules aren’t free if you can’t play the game without them. I’ve typed the rules descriptions from the datasheets into quartermaster. It even allows you to print the rules under your list. It’s just note taking for your own personal use so no copyright issues.

  • Stonewall

    Malifaux! AND all your stats/rules/upgrades for your model come in the box with it. Awesome game.

  • Bitt_Player

    Can you really say 40K’s rules are free when you need to buy two books to know how to build an army?

    • Crablezworth

      Careful, the apologists will descend upon you for expressing wongthink

  • stinkoman

    so anyone actually able to play 40k with just the free rules? i’d like to see a person able to play a pickup game without buying an index/rule book or borrowing/downloading either.